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Through the University of Wisconsin Paul P. Carbone Cancer Center's monthly e-Newsletter Advances, UW Health Sports Medicine in Madison, Wisconsin will provide low-impact exercises to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise and a healthy diet are two key elements in helping to reduce your cancer risk.

 

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We all know that having good posture is important. Poor posture and inefficient movement patterns can play a big part in neck pain, shoulder injuries, low back pain and hip injuries, as well as changing how you breathe. Posture can play a part in how efficient you are at your daily tasks as well as how well you perform at your sport or hobby.

 

There are many aspects to improving posture and movement patterns. Below is an exercise that is easy to perform at work or at home that can help you check your working posture, wake up your mid back and rotator cuff muscles and open up your chest.

 

This exercise can be performed seated or standing.

 

 

Photo A

Photo B

Scarecrow, beginning position Scarescrow, position B

  • Start by sitting or standing tall, roll your shoulders back a few times and think about relaxing the neck and shoulder muscles
  • Place your hands on your mid-belly, hands in gentle fists, knuckles touching. Your elbows will be pointing gently out to side (Photo A)
  • Keep your elbows where they are and gently rotate your hands up and away form each other until you feel light resistance to motion. Do not try to push into your end of range of motion. Your arms will form a wide W shape (Photo B)
  • Keeping your elbows where they are, return your hands to your mid- belly. Repeat 8 – 15 times.

You may add light dumbbells to this exercise (1 – 5 lbs). Your comfort and range of motion should not change with the addition of weight and you should not feel as though your neck muscles are working.